10 Reasons You Should Pre-Order Torchlight 2 Even If You’re In Love With Diablo 3

SKLURB

Called from Darkness Web Developer
10 Reasons You Should Pre-Order Torchlight 2 Even If You’re In Love With Diablo 3
by Webbstre
Published on 06-08-2012 06:30 AM


Hope everyone is having a happy weekend, wherever you are! Today I'm bringing you a special gem, written by our Analyst/Writer Jerich! He's sent it over to me for proof-reading, which ironically meant I had to cut down on my Diablo 3 time tonight. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I do, and please share it with your Diablo 3-hooked friends are a bit hesitant to give Torchlight II a chance.

Intro

I love Diablo 3. As I sit writing this, three weeks after launch, I have already put over 150 hours into it. Although it is definitely not perfect, I believe that all the Diablo 3 haters are ignoring the places its design approaches brilliance. While you are busy playing Diablo 3, though, Torchlight 2 (another Action RPG) is currently available for pre-order on Steam and Perfect World. Here are some of the reasons why I think any serious Diablo 3 fan should pick it up as well.


#1 - You will actually find Unique and Set Items

I have played over 150 hours of Diablo 3. Question: How many items have I found that were better than something I found off the auction house? Answer: Two. I think most of us understand how bad the Diablo 3 economy would get if it was easy to find really good items. These items would flood the auction house and completely break the game. That being said, after killing the Inferno Siegebreaker countless times and never finding a single serious character upgrade, I get tired of waiting for my lucky day. I haven’t found a single legendary item (even a crappy one) and am starting to feel the only way to get ahead is to play the auction house.

Part of the reason I’m looking forward to playing Torchlight 2 is that I will find my own set / unique item (probably in the first thirty minutes). There is just something satisfying about actually using the awesome gear I just wrest from the hands of a monster I vanquished. Also, the legendary items in Torchlight 2 are amazing. There are over 2500 of them, they are focused and they sport some really cool unique modifiers. For instance, I found a pistol that leveled up after I killed 100 zombies with it. Finishing this mini-quest unlocked the ability to raise creatures I killed as flesh eating zombies.

Question: Will I continue to farm Diablo 3 after getting Torchlight 2? Answer: Yes. Question: Will being able to log into Torchlight 2 and farm some cool items after hours of frustratingly farming in Diablo 3 save me from repeatedly throwing my mouse across the room in nerd rage? Answer: Also yes. Torchlight 2 is like Diablo 3 therapy. Honestly, I think I will have more fun playing both side by side than I would have playing either exclusively.


Reason #2 – Adjustable Difficulty
Confession time… sometimes I wish I had an easy button in Act 3 / 4 Inferno. My gear still kind of sucks and I sometimes feel like I am hitting a wall after getting owned by the same champion pack multiple times before I kill it. Unfortunately, whenI go play a Normal, Nightmare or Hell character and it feels like too much of a big roflstomp. I believe that there is such a thing as a gaming sweet spot - something that is challenging, but doable if the player is skilled. If a game is too easy, I get bored. If a game is too unfair, I get frustrated and rage quit. An example of a game I believe hit this difficulty just right is Dark Souls. It was difficult, but felt fair and hit the middle ground just right for me. Unfortunately, only parts of Act 1 of Inferno currently feel like that in Diablo 3 with my current gear. I’m sure once I get better gear I will be owning face in Inferno, but right now everything past Act 2 feels wildly imbalanced. What I wish I could have is an Oblivion-style slider that allowed me to adjust the difficulty on the fly. Luckily Torchlight 2 has this.

Unlike Diablo 3, Torchlight 2 is not constrained by secure servers and an auction house. This means that there is no need to pipe everything through a common difficulty curve the sake of fairness. Each time you create a game, you are able to select your difficulty level. Since there are no real benefits for picking hard difficulties other than fun (you don’t get better loot), you are free to play the game how you most enjoy. If you like being overpowered… you can play normal mode. If you like a serious challenge, play elite (which is much harder than very hard in TL 1). If even Elite is not enough for you, you will be able to easily download a difficulty mod and challenge yourself further.


#3 – Offline / LAN / Internet Play
While this is not as big a deal for me as it is for some people, the fact that you don’t need an active internet connection to play Torchlight 2 is a huge bonus. There is no need to wait for server maintenance and you will be able to play it even while traveling in areas without service. Perhaps even more awesome is the ability to hold throwback LAN parties and connect to your friend even if you are behind a firewall or in some other area without easy net access. Heck, you could buy Torchlight 2 just to play while waiting for the inevitable Diablo 3 server maintenance or content dead zones.


#4 – So Much Better than Torchlight 1
(In every way that matters)
I liked Torchlight 1. I thought it was a good Action RPG that showed a lot of promise. That being said, I was disappointed in several ways. Reading gamer online message boards, I know many other people felt the same way. Luckily, Torchlight 2 not only fixes most of the grievances I had with the first game, but almost feels like a different game. Here are just some of the highlights.
Items / Classes

Way better itemization (more focused, better design, better graphics and they go all the way to level cap)
Enchanting now actually enhances the item game rather than detracting from it
More interesting skill trees (No shared passives / much better skills overall)
Each class has a ton of support options if that is your thing
The spell system has been improved significantly


Gameplay

Each mode is more challenging (Elite Difficulty is actually really hard)
Pet functionality is expanded
Art / Animation / Sounds all have much higher production value
There is a New Game+ mode (like Diablo 3 Nightmare) as well as an end game quest system that will take you all the way to level cap (And keep you busy afterward)
Champion / Boss packs have a variety of challenging attributes


World

There is actually a real story / lore (Runic hired a writer)
Quest / Event variety is good this time around. I find myself wanting to read the dialogue
Level design is much more varied than Torchlight 1

#5 – More Content / Faster Paced than D3
I believe Torchlight 2 will have more content than Diablo 3. How can I tell that seeing as I have only played Torchlight 2 Beta? I actually recorded the first time I played through Act I of each (full clears). Here are the stats:

D3 Act I: 7. 5 hours(Two Boss fights)
TL2 Act I (Elite): 13. 5 hours(Five major Boss fights, Five minor Boss fights)
D3 Full Clear:29 hours
TL 2 Full Clear: 40-ish hours?



Webbstre's Note: Torchlight 2 has three regular acts and one mini-act for the final boss. Act 1 is the shortest of the regular acts, with Act 2 and Act 3 being longer than Act 1. Act 4 is the shortest, though we haven't gotten any details on how long it takes to complete. In addition, it has been mentioned by the developers that new content (possibly quests, events, or easter eggs) won't open up until you play through in New Game+.

Note… my goal is not to disparage Diablo 3’s amount of content at all. I think it has plenty. Instead I want to highlight how good a deal we are getting with Torchlight 2. Also bear in mind that Torchlight 2 is much faster paced (you attack and run faster overall). This means I actually covered quite a bit more content in my TL 2 play through.

You will probably counter that Diablo 3 has a ton of New Game+ modes. That is true. Torchlight 2 also has NG+ modes though. Regardless, we are getting a huge amount of content in TL 2 (especially for the price).


#6 – Perhaps Matt Uelmen’s best Soundtrack Ever
Matt Uelmen is one of the most famous video game composers of all time. He wrote the D1 and D2 soundtrack as well as contributing to the soundtracks for Starcraft 1, WoW Classic and WoW The Burning Crusade. His Torchlight 1 music was great, but it was a rushed project with less time devoted to production value. Torchlight 2 music is AMAZING. Runic pulled out all the stops with production, and even used the same Orchestra they used for Diablo 2. I truly believe that this is Matt’s best soundtrack ever.

Also, did you know that Runic doesn’t mind if you listen to the Ogg files that come with your game? Feel free to load them on your mp3 player and rock out to them. I think this alone would be worth the $20.00 the game costs.


#7 – The level design is the best in the ARPG class
One thing that makes ARPGs so replayable is their level randomization. While I began to see patterns in Diablo 2, I never knew exactly what each level would look like. Unfortunately, three dimensional randomization is much more difficult than two dimensional. Titanquest didn’t randomize at all. Torchlight 1 was mainly linear. Diablo 3 doesn’t change the layout of overland maps and only swaps in chunks.

Torchlight 2 is the most ambitious randomization scheme ever created for a three dimensional ARPG. Overland Chunks are not only randomly swapped out (like D3), but also completely reorganized. In addition to this, chunk elements and monster spawns are randomized. No game will ever feel the same.

More importantly, there is a ton of level variety. There are large overworlds, linear passes and branching dungeons. At the end of each branch there is something significant to find. Pallet types also change quite frequently, and I countedmore than 10 different looks in the first act alone. This means that you will be able to play TL 2 for long times without getting art fatigue.


#8 – Permanent Character Choices
I like the new Diablo 3 system. I was also a big fan of Guild Wars 1 and love to tinker with my character. That being said, there is something nice about being able to make permanent changes and having my character be something I uniquely created. Torchlight 2 gives you the ability to sculpt your hero.

Honestly, I like being in a world where I can have both. It is like having to choose between Pizza and Icecream. My answer is… Yes please.


#9 – Moddability
There were a lot of mods for Torchlight 1. Some people made entirely new classes and levels. Multi-player games always generate more modding interest, so I predict a large portion of the modding community to navigate to Torchlight 2. Expect to be able to pull up some epic mods years from now that completely change the game.


#10 – Only $20.00

This game is only $20.00. What are you waiting for? I actually just bought multiple copies on Steam to give out as prizes for my programming students. These 12 copies cost me about as much as I spent on the Diablo 3 Collector’s edition. Shut up and take my money Runic!


Jerich is an avid RPG player and min-maxer, and is known for such reputable posts as his Skyrim crafting thread, Jerich's Elite Torchlight II Beta Impressions, and the always popular, the Request for Private Server Support thread for Torchlight II.
 
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Bowser

Tribe of Judah StarCraft Series Chapter Leader
Sklurb,

Man, I love your post. A lot of great points, and very well written!
 

Kendrik

Moderator
Staff member
Well, I'm sold. Who wants to buy me a copy?! :D haha

Guess I better grind out some jobs on Amazon's MTurk for this. Nice that Steam is throwing in the original Torchlight with preorder, too. :O
 

SKLURB

Called from Darkness Web Developer
Sklurb,

Man, I love your post. A lot of great points, and very well written!
Oh, I can't take credit for writing it....but I am FANTASTIC at copying and pasting! XP

The guy who wrote it is named Webbstre and published this review on one of the officially endorsed fansites on one of the T2 link pages.

Well, I'm sold. Who wants to buy me a copy?! :D haha

Guess I better grind out some jobs on Amazon's MTurk for this. Nice that Steam is throwing in the original Torchlight with preorder, too. :O
The preorder 4 packs give a reduced rate...I didn't see if T1 is included for the discounted price though.
 
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Kendrik

Moderator
Staff member
Oh, I can't take credit for writing it....but I am FANTASTIC at copying and pasting! XP
Sklurb for Copypasta-in-Chief 2012! haha

Ninjaedit: The four pack does include T1. Just the heads up for anyone wanting to know.
 
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Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
Reason #11: Those orthopedic surgeon's student loans aren't going to pay themselves!

In all seriousness, I was ready to pre-order Torchlight II until I read that the game will not include controller support. If wrist pain or carpal tunnel syndrome aren't concerns, then I say have at it because the game looks like it will be a blast.

Unfortunately, I'll have to skip it because I already have wrist pain issues. :(
 

Kendrik

Moderator
Staff member
In all seriousness, I was ready to pre-order Torchlight II until I read that the game will not include controller support.
That's kinda surprising, actually. I don't recall the Xbox Live version of the first game feeling unnatural on a controller, so it would have made sense to me to support controllers in the sequel. Alas!
 

Tek7@Work

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Xpadder is indeed an awesome program, but doesn't really work with dungeon crawlers without WASD movement because there's nothing to "translate"--the standard controls require you to left-click the point on the map where you want your character to travel.
 

blsimpson

Tribe of Judah Minecraft Chapter Leader
Staff member
My copy has been purchased :)

Now to decide whether I want D3 still, or GW2.. LOL.
 

ursen

Officer SOE/LoE/Where's "here"?
GW2 no contest. Prepurchase from Anet and you get in on the remainder of the GW2 betas. I had the first two Diablos, and switched to GW and have never looked back, and GW2 is light years ahead of GW, and continues the lore and legends of GW without being a stale rehash of it. I have been in on both open beta weekend events, and the one day stress test, and the game so far lives up to almost all of the hype.
 

blsimpson

Tribe of Judah Minecraft Chapter Leader
Staff member
GW2 no contest. Prepurchase from Anet and you get in on the remainder of the GW2 betas. I had the first two Diablos, and switched to GW and have never looked back, and GW2 is light years ahead of GW, and continues the lore and legends of GW without being a stale rehash of it. I have been in on both open beta weekend events, and the one day stress test, and the game so far lives up to almost all of the hype.
Thanks for that. I was leaning towards GW2, just needed that push :) One more question, and you can go back to topic.. :p The $20 extra dollars worth the couple of extra things you get? :)
 

ursen

Officer SOE/LoE/Where's "here"?
There are actually 3 levels to purchase. If you like to collect shineys, and music cds from games by all means get the Collectors Edition. Many of the people in the current GW game are banking on the Digital Deluxe, it may well be worth it now that we have seen the open Beta and have some idea what to expect. But if money is tight you can't go wrong with just purchasing the standard Digital edition. They all guarentee access to all Beta Weekend Events and a head start when the game goes live.
https://buy.guildwars2.com/ To compare.
 

blsimpson

Tribe of Judah Minecraft Chapter Leader
Staff member
Ya, it was between the regular, and deluxe, just didnt know if the extra's were worth the $20. :)

Purchased. :)
 

Jabberwocky

New Member
I keep going back and forth on buying Torchlight 2. I was looking forward to it, but after playing the beta, it felt a bit like more of the same. I have not bought Diablo 3 for similar reasons (and the price is a bit steep for me).

I may pick up GW2 if I can try before I buy.
 

Kendrik

Moderator
Staff member
Eleventh reason to buy Torchlight 2:

Kenny says so.

I finally gave Torchlight a brief go, and I already love it. I adore the art direction. It's a matter of preference here, but I'm definitely a fan of the colorful and even cartoony presentation.

Not being a routine player of these sorta games (unless you include traditional roguelikes... I <3 me some Angband and ToME), and not having a lot of experience with the game yet, I can't really present any new reasons why you should get it.

...save this one: I look forward to playing with CGA/ToJ people, and "the more the merrier" will no doubt apply here. :D
 
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